Last week, a few reporters and journalists, including myself, were lucky enough to see the first thirty minutes of the upcoming Summer blockbuster, Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters at Fox Studios in Century City.
A sequel to Chris Columbus’ 2010 film Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, the film reunites stars Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson and Alexandra Daddario in a story that has them searching for the fabled and magical Golden Fleece while traveling through the unchartered waters of the Sea of Monsters (better known to humans as the Bermuda Triangle).
Introducing the footage was the film’s director Thor Freudenthal, who previously helmed the movie adaptation of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Freudenthal told us that he always loved the Percy Jackson books because of their humor and deep emotions, which he really responded to. He also informed us that not all the special effects have been finished yet, and that the movie is currently being converted into 3D. But while the final touches were not yet in place, he was still eager to see what we thought of the first half hour of the film, especially the action scenes.
The sequel opens with Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) trying to climb his way up an obstacle course which looks even more violent and painful than what contestants have to deal with on the ABC show Wipeout. Percy gets cheered on by his good friends Grover Underwood (Brandon T. Jackson) and Annabeth Chase (Alexandra Daddario) as he tries to make it to the top without being violently kicked off. We also get to meet Percy’s most stubborn rival, Clarisse (Leven Rambin), who chides him constantly as if his victories in the previous film were nothing more than a fluke. After he is thrust off the obstacle course and is beaten by Clarisse, Percy starts to wonder the exact same thing.
Soon after that, we are thrust into the movie’s first big action sequence which involves a big, fiery mechanical bull smashing its way into the characters’ safe haven of Camp Half-Blood. The bull can swivel its head around 360 degrees like Linda Blair in The Exorcist, it has a flamethrower than comes out of its mouth and it looks like it can deal out a whole lot of damage. After our heroes defeat the bull, they discover that the magical tree which shields their camp has been poisoned and it’s up to them to restore it back to health and to stop an ancient evil from being re-awakened.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters features a number of new characters who make their presence known in the movie’s first 30 minutes. Clarisse proves to be a tough young woman whose over-inflated ego may get the best of her as the movie goes on. There’s also Percy’s one-eyed half-brother Tyson (Douglas Smith), who looks nothing like him but quickly exhibits talents that no one else possesses.
The sequel’s best new addition though looks to be Stanley Tucci, who steals every scene he’s in as Mr. Dionysus, the god of wine and director of Camp Half-Blood. Tucci’s outstanding comic timing is a joy to watch as he takes credit for his students’ ideas and finds that the wine he loves to drink keeps getting turned into water. Yes, Tucci looks to be one of this sequel’s biggest pleasures and hopefully we will get to see a lot more of him in the rest of the movie.
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